Πέμπτη, 13 Οκτωβρίου 2011

Interstellar Echoes Of A Crumbling Universe [Eng]

An Interview With Magdalena Solis

Coming from Belgium, Magdalena Solis, is a newborn and promising band with lots of potential. Recently, they've released their debut full length album, Hesperia. An album, that both music fans and press, enjoyed and appreciated, due to it's quality. This two-piece outfit, have done an excellent job, in both the audio and visual aspects of their art. Considering that the review of their album in this blog has been really popular, I've decided to contact the band, in order to learn something more about them, because I'm sure that only great things are to come from this duet.

Since you're quite a new band, would you be kind enough to provide us with a mini-bio of the group? (When it all started, how it all started and who's responsible for Magdalena Solis? etc)
-We're a male/female duo from Brussels, Belgium. We both play various instruments and also create our own videos. How it all started is covered in the next questions. First recordings date from Spring/Summer 2009, but activity was rather sporadic then. A debut EP called 'Lady of the Wild Things' was released in 2010 on Reverb Worship. Followed earlier this year by our first full length 'Hesperia', on Dying For Bad Music (CD-r) and KlangverhŠltnisse (Tape).

I'm sure you were expecting this question, but again, i couldn't resist. Magdalena Solis, was a notorious person but you named the band after her. Why?
-We don't much fancy the stuff on the internet about her. The scarce info you find there is ridiculous and often incorrect. I first read about her in a book called 'Women who kill', which is a more detailed and realistic account. So we were attracted to this story, not the 'high priestess of blood' stuff. It was a fascinating read, took us away, even became some sort of a phantasy trip for a while. We also very much liked the name. Sounded mythical to us. So when we needed a band name it was quickly settled, this was the one and only.

I read on your website that, "It all started as a movie project.." and i'm wondering, what exactly you mean by that?
-The first sounds we created were experiments for a screenplay I was writing. Somebody kept saying we should put them on the internet. After a while I thought: 'Okay why not?' Instantly people seemed to like it and after only a few weeks Reverb Worship offered to do a release. This may sound like a fairy-tale but...we found it all a little confusing. It wasn't exactly our original intention and all very much go-with-the-flow.

What's the main reason that ''forced'' you to record music?
-Well to be honest...other people. We liked the attention our music got but it still felt really strange. It took time to feel comfortable about being musicians. Gradually we began to enjoy it more, feel more free and confident, form our own musical vision. Now we feel more like 'real musicians', if such a thing exists.

I'm convinced that combining music and visual effects is really difficult and i'm pretty sure that your work is brilliant. Would please tell us something about the proceedings you follow? In other words, please provide us with some info about the making of both of your music and visual aesthetics. How everything's come to life?
-It's something very exciting and beautiful. There are always difficulties and obstacles but that's just part of the adventure, without it wouldn't be as much fun. We sometimes make plans and scripts but that never works. We need to improvise like when making music. Just needs enough rushes, enough raw material. Then it's like children in a candy store. It's very simple and fun. Listening to the song while watching the rushes, over and over again, until we have enough magic moments and the frames are more or less complete. Then it's time for the effects and magic tricks, which is even more fun. The most difficult part is to stop.

Would you like to tell us something about your visual and sonic sources of inspiration?
-In general we're inspired by anything that is wild, outrageous, subversive and delirious. We like art that opens the gates in people's minds that authorities and mass media like to keep shut. It's mostly movies. Movies are both sonic and visual inspirations. We haven't got big examples anymore. We just watch all sorts of stuff, and now and then we see things we like and get ideas. We also like to shut ourselves off from all culture and media for long periods, that's always very refreshing. Nature is also very important. Most of our work was created after holidays. We need to get out of our little country. Get away from the cities too. We need sea and mountains, majestic and breathtaking landscapes. There we are cleansed from all bullshit and everything falls into place.

There are countless music genres but you chose to travel in the 'Kosmische Musik' paths of psychedelia. Why?
-The first album, we called our music 'hybrid'. It was a little messy then, still very much a searching phase. On 'Hesperia' there is indeed more of a cosmic space-rock sound universe. But we still dabble in different genres and the hybrid spirit remains. 'Sisters of the Twilight Mansions' is a good example. Starts with a stretch of infernal noise, then goes into hypnotic oriental trance, then a short break of nightmarish noise that goes into a psyched-out hardrock riff and solo, to end with a baroque music inspired melody. That's us. We follow our instincts and make music for the sake of the adventure, mixing different genres and eras into something we like.

I've read about your plans for more new clips and i'm really looking forward to them. Are there any plans of making a clip for every single song of Hesperia? 
-There will be four more clips for Hesperia, but that will be it. There were never plans to make a clip for every song because certain songs we never saw fit for visuals. Next album will probably have a clip for every song, maybe one continuous clip/movie, remains to be seen. The last clip for Hesperia will be for 'Wake up and start to dream'. It will be footage we receive from people destroying TV's and/or computers. Everybody can contribute. More about it on our website: http://magdalenasolis.com/events.htm The trouble is always finding wild and open-minded people to play in our clips. That is a little frustrating sometimes. We have to ditch great ideas cos we don't find anyone who wants to do it. To me it's important to always express a good deal of sexual liberation in our videos. Some people like to call that 'exploitation'. Well, it's just a bad word for something wonderful.

Are there any plans to create a full movie of yours? If the answer's positive, can you provide us with some info about it?
-I would love to film that screenplay one day. But that would need time and money. Lately we've been thinking about making it more experimental and turn it into an epic videoclip. We'll see. A full movie, we would do it in the south of Crete. I started gathering first ideas and notes for the screenplay while staying in this legendary old hippie place called Matala. It was the perfect location: magical scenery, alternative young people from all over the world, nudism on every beach, an ambience of peace, freedom and joy. I was very inspired there. We also adore the rough and barren landscape of southern Crete, and all its peculiar little places. Out in the bush there is a very special and ancient atmosphere, like the spirit of the Minotaur is still around. One day we sure want to go back and film there.

Suppose you're invited to write a score about a movie. What kind would you like it to be?
-I'm not sure if that would work. I'm pretty sure we'd want it too much to be a movie like we'd make ourselves. I can hardly imagine. It's not our thing and I don't think that will ever happen.

The magnificent Hesperia album received very good reviews on the internet. Did you expect this positive admission, and how do you feel about it?
-Not really. We did much more what we really wanted than on the first album. We were pretty irritated and bored with the underground music scene. It's supposed to be 'free' but we felt it was a fake freedom and that they were too many rules. I remember we often settled arguments saying: 'Well fuck the avant-garde people, we make rock music!'. It's a pity today rock music and experimental music are such separate worlds. Not a good thing, on each side everything starts to sound the same and it just gets boring. They should join more, there should be much more interaction. That was our intention while recording 'Hesperia'. So the wonderful reviews and positive feedback felt real good. While recording I sometimes thought: 'This album will kill us'. But it didn't, on the contrary.

The artwork, the music, the titles of the tracks, the lyrics, the clip of Prophetic Dreams and those that are coming. Is there any specific concept going on in Hesperia?
-For us there is definitely a concept. It's a voyage to a transcendental phantasy land. All titles and lyrics come from adventures in astral projection and out-of-body experiences. It's a psychedelic album that was recorded without any drug use and purely inspired by natural psychedelic experiences. I started calling these 'go to Hesperia'. We knew before we started recording that the first track would be called 'Wake up and start to dream'. The first gate. Most other titles are similar little metaphysical riddles. But it doesn't really matter that much, many people just 'feel' the concept.

Who's to blame about the excellent production and artwork of the album?
-We do this together. Before we made music we already did plenty of graphic creations and experiments together for fun, so it's just the result of experience and a good connection.

I know that there are no plans for live shows until the next year, but were there any live shows in 2011? And how do you manage to reproduce and perform your amazing sonic and visual creations live?
-There were no live shows in 2011 because of injuries. Before we didn't like playing as a duo. Now we have an extra man. Our live sound is of course more raw and primitive. We always enjoy the George Martin style studio adventures but the limited live line-up is also fun and a great challenge. Visually we have given it much thought and after various experiments we decided to create a 40-50min projection, something that is not as tight and synchronized as a videoclip, but more than the usual psych projection. It's an open work, it can go anywhere.

You've already confirmed some dates for the Spring of 2012 in Europe. Are there any plans for American, Australian or Asian tour? Are you planning to be on the road for a long time or just for a few selected shows?
-We are unable to tour for long periods. It will be mini-tours across Europe for the time being. There are possibilities outside of Europe but too thin and/or scattered to realize in the near future. But you never know.

I think I already know the answer to this question, but nonetheless, I can't resist. Is there any real chance of you visiting Greece for a live performance?
-We'd love to of course, and film while we're there. But for the moment there are no solid/realistic options in Greece. Things like that can change rapidly however, maybe there might be after this interview...let's hope so.
What are your plans for the foreseeable future? Live shows for sure, but are you working on a new album yet?
-For a next album one track is almost finished, and some other good jams we'll finish this Winter. Next year we'll play live until May or something, after that we finish and release this third album. Towards the end of the year we'd love to do some more live shows, playing the strictly the new album with its visuals.

What are your general and long-term ambitions regarding Magdalena Solis?
-There are no long-term plans. We'll not exist for ten years or something. Every album could be our last. So the best thing I can answer to 'long-term' plans is 'our next album'. It has to remain an adventure and we'll only do it as long as it is good fun.

Thank you for this interview and congratulations on your excellent audiovisual work. The last words, belongs to you.
-It was a pleasure.

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Magdalena Solis - Cities Crumbling Planets Growing from Magdalena Solis on Vimeo.

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